Kenai soccer sweeps Skyview

The visiting Kenai Central soccer teams swept Skyview on Monday.

In the girls game, the Kardinals shook off the trouble scoring that had dogged them in a 1-0 loss to Grace Christian on Saturday.

The Kards topped the Panthers 11-1 to move to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the Southern Division of the Northern Lights Conference. Skyview dropped to 0-4.

Allie Ostrander led the way for Kenai with three goals and two assists, while Taylor Sheldon had two goals and two assists, and Cassie Holmes and Lara Creighton each had two goals.

Also for the Kardinals, Sarah Every had a goal and an assist, Hannah Drury had a goal, and Kylie Morse, Jacey Ross and Ashleigh Bodolski had assists.

The Kardinals started earning opportunities right away in the first half, but Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen still was not thrilled with the way his team was attacking.

“We passed up a lot of opportunities moving the ball around a lot,” Verkuilen said. “Sometimes a quick shot is the best thing.”

Although Kenai struck four times in the first half, Skyview goalie Mandee Lawson was able to make 10 saves.

“She made a lot of saves,” Skyview coach David Carpenter said. “You’re going to give up some goals when you face that many shots.

“The nice thing about it is she asked to stay in in the second half even though she was facing so many shots. Sometimes, that can be tough on the ego.”

In the second half, Verkuilen told his team to put crosses higher in the air and to start shooting from farther out. It worked as the Kards scored seven times and Lawson was able to save four shots on net.

Creighton and Sheldon both scored on headers off crosses in the second half. Plus, Holmes got two of her goals from outside the box, while Drury also struck from deep.

“It’s like the 3-point shot in basketball,” Verkuilen said. “You have to prove you can do it before they’ll come out on you. Once they come out on you, it opens up things in the middle.”

Verkuilen was missing three starters due to injury or illness. He was happy with the way his young players filled in for the starters.

Skyview’s lone goal came in the 52nd minute. Right after the Kards scored, Ciarra Mahan booted the kickoff from the center circle down the side to Taylor Wilson.

Wilson beat a defender and launched a shot on Kenai keeper Alli Steinbeck, who made three saves in the game. Steinbeck made the first save, but Wilson pounded home the rebound.

“Taylor finally getting a goal was nice,” Carpenter said. “She needs to get her confidence going a bit. Her and Ciarra are starting to work together and learn where each other is at.”

Carpenter also liked what he saw out of freshman Becca Gamble. He said she showed a lot of potential on defense and in the midfield.

Kenai boys 5, Skyview 0

TJ Wagoner had a hat trick and Wren Norwood recorded the shutout as the Kards moved to 3-1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Southern Division. The Panthers dropped to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the Southern Division.

Both Kenai coach John Morton and Jake Eveland agreed the Kards had the better soccer team, but in the first 20 minutes of the game it didn’t look like it.

“We didn’t come out playing all that well and they came out ready to go,” said Morton, who also received goals from Nolan Scarlett and Nathan Narlock. “I guess it’s common for a game where the underdog is playing at home.

“They were winning most of the 50-50 balls in the first 20 minutes or so.”

Eveland was proud of his team for putting up a fight.

“We were in their half and frustrating them,” he said. “I think they had it marked down as an easy win.

“They were just a better team, when it comes down to it. We had a good game plan but they had better players. They made good passes and good runs. They are a good team.”

The coach said defender Sterling Stasak and midfielder Austin Craig both did a good job fighting until the end.

Wednesday, Skyview hosts Ketchikan, with the girls at 4 p.m. and boys at 6 p.m.

Friday, Kenai hosts Seward, with girls at 4 p.m. and boys at 6 p.m.

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